Lecture entitled “Jerusalem in the British Era” C1

Lecture entitled “Jerusalem in the British Era” C1


The British army was able to advance towards Jerusalem through its gate Jaffa, The British occupation began and Jewish immigration was opened in order to Judaize the city, Many Palestinian revolutions took place
The arrival of the British army.


The First World War was a pivotal process in shaping the face of the world. Britain’s occupation of Jerusalem began in the framework of this war on 9/12/1917, where this occupation continued until 15/5/1948.


The last war between the Ottomans and the British, which settled the matter of Jerusalem, was the Battle of Gaza. Where the British army was able to advance towards Jerusalem through its gate Jaffa, The British army arrived in surrender, In turn, Hussein Salim Effendi al-Husseini, Mayor of Jerusalem, handed the British commander Watson the extradition document. The decision was made by the city’s administrator after consulting the notables in Jerusalem to hand over in order to ensure the safety of the holy places therein. It is worth mentioning here that the Ottoman army lost 25,000 soldiers in its battles on the outskirts of Jerusalem, as well as 12,000 prisoners.


After Britain tightened its control over Palestine with the Zionist project in its pocket, it was necessary for the Arabs of Palestine to console themselves after the Arabs’ projects and aspirations were dissipated because the British failed them. They formed the Muslim-Christian Association to defend their rights and worked to hold the first Palestinian conference to respond to the Zionist conference held in the city of Jaffa one month after the British occupation. It also prepared a memorandum for the Peace Conference in Paris in 1919. In addition to holding marches and demonstrations rejecting these projects on the one hand and in support of the enthronement of Faisal bin Hussein as King of Syria on the other.


He continued in a lecture entitled “Jerusalem in the British Era”1

British Mandate Policy:


  • The opening of Jewish immigration in order to Judaize the city, After their number in the days of Cemal Pasha was 10,000 settlers, in 1922 they became approximately 33,000 settlers.
  • Economic, social and political support for the Jews.
  • Adopting a policy of appeasement and evasion to sow discord among the Palestinians themselves.
  • Facilitate the purchase of land and the construction of settlements.
  • Suppressing the Palestinian national movement and standing by the Jew on various occasions and events.
  • The establishment of the main institutions of the Zionist movement in Jerusalem, including the Hebrew University.

Did you know:


Did you know that the Big Ben, Britain’s pride and national symbol, is powered by a stolen Palestinian-Ottoman engine?
The picture of the Jerusalem clock, the tick hidden today in London, after it was decorating the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem and ringing its bells every hour, However, General Allenby ordered it to be dismantled, stolen and placed in the London Museum in 1922, and the clock engine was moved to Big Ben!!


The Ottomans built the clock tower above the Jaffa Gate next to the citadel on a square building 13 meters high. It took seven years to build and was completed on the anniversary of the silver jubilee of Sultan Abdul Hamid II’s accession to the throne of the caliphate in 1909. Its construction cost amounted to 20,000 French francs. It was an architectural masterpiece that receives those coming to the city from the side of Jaffa and Hebron. It included four hours seen by residents from different sides.


After the fall of Palestine under British rule, the Jewish Jerusalem Lovers Association issued a decision to remove the clock tower in 1922, Sometimes under the pretext of resembling and competing with the London Big Ben, And sometimes under the pretext of the ugliness of the tower, The real goal was to remove the memory of the Sultan from the minds of the population and try to erase as many Ottoman memories as possible. The people violently resisted that decision. Until there was a rumor that the military governor Storus had changed his mind because of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s objection as an Ottoman monument. But Storus moved the clock and installed it on a small tower built on the square opposite the Jerusalem City Hall outside the new gate. Under the pretext that it was not a beautiful idea, Storrs ordered the demolition of the tower and the theft of the watch under the pretext of transferring it to the British Museum, where the engine was dismantled and installed to become the heart of the “Big Ben” watch, the famous symbol of Britain.


Source: Jerusalem History Course – Al-Quds Open University


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